Tampa Bay Lightning: 30 Best Draft Picks In Franchise History

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Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

13. Vladislav Namestnikov

Draft Year: 2011

Position: Center

Over the course of the last few season, the Tampa Bay Lightning’s main roster, as well as their developmental system, has always been abundantly full with powerful forwards who have the ability to make a real impact on the National Hockey League. One of the brightest stars in the group of young forwards is Vladislav Namestnikov.

Vladislav Namestnikov was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the First Round (27th Overall) by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2011 National Hockey League Entry Draft. Before making his way to the Tampa Bay Lightning, Namestnikov would spend one final season with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League.

Vladdy would put up some pretty fantastic numbers in his final season with the London Knights. In the 63 games he’d play that season with the Knights, Namestnikov would score 22 goals and 49 assists for a total of 71 points. The very next season, Namestnikov would make his way to the States and join the Lightning’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch.

In his first season with the Crunch, Namestnikov would play in a total of 56 games. In that amount of time, Namestnikov would score 19 goals and 29 assists for a total of 48 points. The Zhukovskiy native would make his NHL debut on February 8, 2014 in the Lightning’s 4-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings.

Last season, Namestnikov spent a much more significant amount of time on the Tampa Bay Lightning’s main roster. Vladdy would play in a total of 43 games with the Lightning, where he would score nine goals and seven assists for a total of 16 points.

This season, Vladdy has been a staple on the main roster. One of the biggest assets he has is his tremendous speed and his incredible shot. One of his best characteristics is his the fact that instead of hesitating in front of the net, Namestnikov is not afraid to bear down and take the shot where others would flinch.

At 23 years old, Namestnikov is still navigating his way through life as an NHL player and perfecting his game, but the amount of talent contained in this young player will pay dividends for the Tampa Bay Lightning over the course of the next few seasons. That is…if the Lightning can retain him after this season.

At the conclusion of the 2015-16 season, Namestnikov is scheduled to become a Restricted Free Agent. Judging by the performance he has put on thus far, it would probably be in the Lightning’s best interest if they do what needs to be done in order to keep him in Lightning blue. As the season progresses, it will be interesting to see what the future holds for this young forward and what he can do for the Bolts.

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